Linux Mint Launching SFF MintBox Mini 2 and Mini 2 Pro PCs Running Linux Mint 19

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2018 - 10:34 PM |
Tagged: SFF, linux mint, linux, j3455, Intel, fanless, atom, apollo lake

The Linux Mint development team recently announced the MintBox Mini 2 and MintBox Mini 2 Pro small form factor PCs which will ship with Linux Mint 19 this summer. The tiny passively cooled computers are based on Compulab’s Fitlet2 SFF barebones PC and comes in two flavors: the base Mini 2 with Intel Celeron J3455, 4GB DDR3L, and 64GB SATA SSD and the Mini 2 Pro with J3455 processor, 8GB RAM, and 120GB solid state drive. The MintBox Mini 2 PCs measure 4.4” x 3.3” x 1.3” and weighs approximately 12 ounces.

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The SFF systems come in all black and feature a row of fins along the top of the case to assist in passively cooling the processor and other components (there is a heat transfer plate above the M.2 slot as well). The fins are larger than the previous MinitBox Mini and Compulab is rating the updated hardware at an improved temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. Enthusiasts will further be able to tweak the thermal throttle and thermal shutoff safeties.

The front of the MintBox Mini 2 features a Mint logo, two USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks, a micro SD card slot, and two LEDs that are controlled by GPIO and can be user-programed. There are two WI-Fi antenna ports on the right side and around back there are two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI 1.4, one mini DisplayPort 1.2, a proprietary COM port, power input jack, and two Intel i211 powered Gigabit Ethernet ports.

While the previous generation devices were AMD based, the MintBox Mini 2 and Mini 2 Pro are based around an Intel Celeron J3455 which is a 14nm Apollo Lake desktop processor with 10W TDP that features four cores clocked at 1.5 GHz base and up to 2.3 GHz boost with 2MB cache and HD Graphics 500. While the systems come configured with RAM and storage, users can swap that out for up to 16 GB of DDR3L (there is only one SO-DIMM slot) and a single SSD drive in the M.2 2260 slot (SATA 6 Gbps based). Wireless has been refreshed on the new models to include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 which is a nice upgrade over the 802.11n wireless on the MintBox Mini and the 802.11ac+BT4.0 on the Mini Pro.

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Users can extend the functionality and add additional external I/O or even a 2.5” drive with FACET expansion cards (the 2.5” drive option also requires a different bottom cover that makes the PC taller). For example, there are FACET cards that can add an additional two Gigabit Ethernet ports with the ports coming out the left side of the PC or Power Over Ethernet (PoE) support which is reportedly in the works with a PoE FACET card slated for availability by the time the MintBox Mini 2 launches in June.

The compact and fan-less PC seems perfect for a router or IoT gateway as well as a handy tool for penetration testers and IT admins to troubleshoot and monitor networks. Its intended purpose is as a lower cost silent desktop or thin client for home users and Linux Mint fans.

The MintBox Mini 2 and MintBox Mini 2 Pro will be available in June pre-loaded with Linux Mint 19 for $299 and $349 respectively. The MintBox Mini 2 is based on the barebones Fitlet2 PC ($176) which comes sans memory or storage, so they do not seem like a bad deal especially considering a part of that premium you are paying for the MintBox is in the support and validation of compatibility with the Linux OS.

If you are curious about the state of the project and the hardware, the Mint developers have been answering questions and running benchmarks for people using an alpha build of the Mint OS in the comments section of this blog post.

Also read:

Source: Fanless Tech

April 8, 2018 | 01:38 AM - Posted by kk (not verified)

Looks like there was meant to be another picture near the top of the story but all that is showing up is a tag that says: [inline:]

April 8, 2018 | 10:49 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Should be fixed now, not sure what happened there.

April 8, 2018 | 11:08 AM - Posted by OverToTheDarkSideOfDogfoodGraphics (not verified)

And Compulab has gone all Intel and that's a big no sale. Looks like Intel is back to that incentivizing again and Compulab is another Linux OS OEM that I'll avoid.

All that talk About Linux being outside the proprietary clutches of the big OS Monopoly rings hollow whn the hardwre is so domoniated by the big CPU Monopoly.

Compulab is just another maker not using AMD's Raaven Ridge APUs and that just shows how much Compulab is subsidized to keep the APU with the better graphics on the outside.

Ditto for the Linux OS laptop OEMs and their reliance on the BIG CPU and GPU monolopies for the funds to create their products.

So Far AMD has been effectively kept out of the larger laptop market and totally out of the Linux OS OEM laptop market and now Compulab is over on the dark side also.

And stiil not much new on when that Zotac Mini-Desktop with the Raven Ridge SKU offerings will be availabe for purchase.

I home these OEM's know that the entire world is saturated with Intel based CPU/Integrated graphics products and folks still have in their possession and excess of used Intel Laptops/Mini sorts of devices so AMD's Vega Graphics is a great selling point that even Intel itself has taken to using. And AMD's integrated graphics is what will stand out if it was offered by Compulab/others in some AMD Mint Boxes.

AMD really needs to get some OEM/Partner for at least one Raven Ridge and Linux OS laptop OEM offerings and also some mini mint box sorts of offerings also. AMD si going to have to offer some OEMs some driver team help also in order to get a larger Raven Ridge line offerings in that Linux OS OEM devices market that's going to begin to take off the closer it comes to 2020 and folks will be forced off of windows 7.

The server/clous services market appears to be doing fine on Linux so what about AMD's willingness to partner with Linux OS devices OEMs with a Linux system support system and Linux OS device OEMs able to make use of Raven Ridge/newer SKUs in their devices.

April 8, 2018 | 11:17 AM - Posted by OverToTheDarkSideOfDogfoodGraphics (not verified)

What's with the crazy formatting with that frist paragraph it did not look like that when it was cut and pasted from the word processor?

And PCPer some of your ads(Ad Scripts) are borking the posting composition process forcing posters to have to use a word processor. I Had a hard time just selecting the text just to be able to copy it over to a word processor to be able to finis the reply.

I hope that you ad partners are not scraping these forums looking for marketing targets.

April 21, 2018 | 12:37 PM - Posted by M (not verified)

AManFromMars, is that u bro?

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